Before Tallinn local election, education language issue proves to be most decisive

As Estonia nears municipal elections due in the middle of October, Tallinn is a key political battle ground, where differences in positions are the starkest on the issue of Russian-language kindergartens and schools, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.
Tallinn has inherited Russian-language kindergartens and schools from the period of the Soviet occupation, while Estonian is the only official language throughout the country since early 1990s. The Estonian local government elections will take place in the third week of October, with October 17 as the main election day.
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On the right of the political spectrum, the national-conservative party Isamaa promises to transition to Estonian-only education in kindergartens and schools by the 2027/2028 school year. The party is suggests in its programme to name a deputy mayor responsible for the Estonian language. The populist Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) also promises to gradually change Tallinn’s Russian-language educational institutions to Estonian. For the party it has also been important to speak against LGBT+ and multicultural themes on education syllabus.
The Centre Party, which has been the ruling political force in Tallinn for many years and has kept the education language separation unchanged, seeks to maintain the status quo in the future. In its election programme, promises to maintain non-Estonian schools so parents can choose a school based on their family’s necessities. The political force would like to contribute more to teaching Estonian at the schools and to support language studies for non-Estonian children, ERR reports.